Monthly Archives: August 2017

NPR: “‘Schoolifying’ Minecraft Without Ruining It” (Ito quoted)

August 10, 2017

“Scrappy educators and hackers and YouTubers kept adding stuff on, and it was very much an organic, geek-led movement,” says Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist at UC Irvine who studies how children and teens use media. She is also the founder of an online Minecraft summer camp.

Ito compares the game to a skateboarding park: a place that kids flock to and have a blast while also picking up wicked cool new tricks. “Kids are mostly hanging out, but they’re also learning from each other,” she explains. “Some are more advanced and are displaying their skills, so there are open invites to level up.”

Read the full story at NPR.

Mazmanian, Regan and Shahbaba appointed DECADE Graduate Faculty Mentors

August 4, 2017

The UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence (OIE) has appointed ICS professors Melissa Mazmanian, Amelia Regan and Babak Shahbaba to serve as DECADE (Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience) Graduate Faculty Mentors. Mazmanian will serve as a mentor for the graduate program in informatics, Shahbaba will be the mentor for the graduate program in statistics; and Regan will serve as a mentor for the graduate programs in computer science, network systems and transportation science. They each will serve two-year terms that started in July.
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Ruberg co-editing special “Queerness and Video Games” issue of Game Studies journal

August 3, 2017

Assistant Professor of Informatics Bonnie Ruberg is co-editing a special issue of the journal Game Studies on the topic of “Queerness and Video Games: New Critical Perspectives on LGBTQ Issues, Sexuality, Games and Play” with Amanda Phllips, assistant professor in the Department of English at Georgetown University.

This special issue “seeks to explore new critical perspectives on queerness and video games, building from existing queer game studies work and broadening the current scope of the paradigm by inviting intersectional voices, highlighting underrepresented LGBTQ identities, and challenging those who study video games to make explicit the political implications of their work.”
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Ruberg has article featured in new Gaming Representation book

Assistant Professor of Informatics Bonnie Ruberg’s article, “Playing to Lose: The Queer Art of Failing at Video Games,” was included as a chapter in a new book titled Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games, which was published on July 3, 2017 by Indiana University Press. Gaming Representation examines the portrayals of race, gender and sexuality in a range of video games from casual to indie to mainstream. In their essays, the contributors to this volume argue that representation and identity function as systems in games that share a strong connection to code and platforms. The book was edited by Jennifer Malkowski, assistant professor of film and media studies at Smith College, and TreaAndrea M. Russworm, associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
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A shared passion for research on Capitol Hill

August 2, 2017

Ph.D. student Samantha McDonald continues her research on how technology affects political communication while interning for the Congressional Management Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Second-year informatics Ph.D. student Samantha McDonald is spending her summer as a research assistant at the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) in Washington, D.C., where she is conducting data analysis on satisfaction surveys that congressional representatives sent to their constituents in order to provide key findings and recommendations to improve future surveys. In addition to her research, she is also writing for the CMF blog about her findings and experiences.
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EdSurge: “Has the Game Really Changed? Notes From the 2017 Games for Change Festival” (Steinkuehler cited)

Hardly anyone present at the conference needed much convincing about the potential of games to delight, educate and heal. Yet that’s still not the case for the parents and policymakers who wield influence in how they’re funded or built, notes Constance Steinkuehler. The professor at the informatics department at the University of California, Irvine (and who formerly was a games advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) offered 10 studies that all skeptics—and anyone talking to them—should read and reference.

Read the full story at EdSurge.

Steinkuehler receives Games for Change Vanguard Award

Informatics Professor Constance Steinkuehler, best known for her pioneering social informatics research into video game culture and learning, received the Vanguard Award at this year’s 14th Annual Games for Change Festival and VR for Change Summit (G4C 2017), which was held July 31-Aug. 2, 2017 at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Vanguard Award recipients are recognized for their significant work as mentors, advocates and champions of the next generation of video game creators. Steinkuehler also delivered one of the event’s opening keynote addresses on “10 Important Findings from the Research on Games for Impact: A Look Back Over the Last Decade of Research with Constance Steinkuehler.”
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